Focus on New Home Features

     When you buy from a builder, your new home comes with a full range of quality features and finishes included in the base price. A builder also offers a variety of options and upgrades to suit. The best time to consider any extras, and make your home a little more special and individual to you, is before construction begins. Some of the features to look for and discuss with your builder are:

     From both the inside and the outside, windows are the most distinguishing features of any home. Large windows brighten and add exceptional ambiance. Bold designs add character, and finishing details complement your décor. And advances in window technology provide high energy saving performance and low maintenance.

Floor coverings
     Floor coverings are an integral part of the character of your home. New home builders use interior designers to combine different types of flooring in creative ways, matching them to the style and intended use of each room or area. You can pick the flooring you want to fit your budget, whether its builder grade or upgrade. Natural stone and ceramic tiles enhance foyers, bathrooms, kitchens and informal living areas. Tough laminates work hard in children’s rooms, hallways and home offices. Traditional hardwood flooring adds the warmth and feel of real wood. Carpeting adds warms in many textures and colours. New age linoleum or vinyl lets you maximize your budget and still get an appearance you want, at the budget you want.

Fixtures and faucets
     When consumers purchase a home, whether new-build or resale, the kitchen and bathroom are the key rooms influencing the buyer decisions. New home builders realize this and pay careful attention to the fixtures making up these rooms. From laminates to granite, They offer a number of durable and attractive counter options and upgrades in laminates, composites and natural stone. Sinks are available in many configurations, materials and colours; some are moulded right into the counters. Faucets range from contemporary practical to Victorian ornate to futuristic sleek.
Be careful, the costs for upgrading can add up quickly. But its amazing how the investment now can add to resale value down the line.

Ceiling treatments

     Today’s ceilings are designed to be dramatic and add uniqueness to a house while taking away the harsh ‘squareness’ of older designs. Talk to the builder about things like coffered ceilings with lots of detailed work, bulkheads and sloped or cathedral ceilings.

      One of the finishing touches that adds uniqueness and quality in a home are the mouldings. Mouldings tie the rooms together. There is a huge variety of window and door trim, baseboards and ceiling or crown mouldings available. Even simple mouldings make the rooms lok ‘finished’. Visit model homes to see how different styles, sizes and profiles can affect the overall look effect of the style of your house. Mouldings can cost from under a dollar a foot to very expensive sculpted styles. Be careful not to go overboard.

Other features
      There are lots other features and options to explore when you are looking at new homes, from

·     Infloor radiant heating to the
·     Latest in kitchen and bathroom cabinets. And look into
·     Wiring your new home for security systems, home entertainment and telecommunication. Most builders include       basic telephone and cable pre-wiring in their standard specs.
·     Home automation package that lets you add a wealth of functions now and in the future, from front-door surveillance to remote temperature control, as needed and wanted.
·     Garage door openers
·     Finished basements
·     Builders may or may not install air conditioning as standard

     Be sure to review what the builder offers and what you want before he starts building. If he dose not offer  the products you want he may install them, if you buy them. This will save you a lot of aggravation in the long run.

Energy Efficiency in New Homes
      When you buy a new home there are many things that can be done to increase its comfort and healthiness, and reduce energy costs that are not available in resale homes. A lot of these are automatic with builders but ask your new home builder about these energy-saving and environmental features.

R-2000. An R-2000 certified home is 30 to 40% more energy-efficient than a conventionally built home and includes a number of “clean-air” features and materials with recycled content.

High-efficiency (90%+) furnaces. Consider a high-efficiency heat pump if you use electricity for space heating. Look into “heating zones”. Install an automatic set-back thermostat if not included in the builder’s standard package.

High-efficiency water heater. Also explore tankless “on-demand” water heaters and high-efficiency hybrid systems that combine hot water and space heating.

Extra insulation in the basement, above grade walls and in attic areas.

High-performance windows, with double or triple glazing, inert gas fill, insulating spaces and frames, low-E coating and low air leakage rating.

Placement of windows to gain the most passive solar heat during winter months. Roof overhangs and/or deciduous tree plantings will block out solar heating during the summer.

Energy-efficient lighting, including solar-powered (photovoltaic) lighting systems.

Appliances with an Energy Star® rating.

Heat or Energy Recovery Ventilator system (HRV or ERV) for whole-house ventilation.

Pre-finished building components, e.g. hardwood flooring. Also, other hard-surface flooring that is easy to clean and doesn’t collect dust and dirt.

No- or low-offgassing adhesives, paints and finishes.

Low-off-gassing kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities.

Materials with recycled content—insulation, sheathing, drywall, shingles, decking and much more.

Materials that optimize natural resources—finger-jointed trim and wall studs made from lumber cut-offs.

Rainwater cistern for garden watering.

Ecoscaping, including native plants and wood-waste mulching.

      New home builders are familiar with the latest technologies and products and can explain these to you. Also the it benefits and implications for the construction process, schedule and price.

      Be sure to refer to Home Buying Step By Step and be sure to print out our Home Buyer's Checklist and take it with you to all your home viewings.